What you need to know when buying in Greece
  • Legal Issues
  • Mortgages
  • Conveyance of the Purchase Contract to the Registry of Deeds/Land Registry (Cadastre)
  • Notary Public
  • Applying for a Tax Registration Number
  • Real Estate Tax
  • Inheritance and Gift Tax
  • Value Added Tax
  • Municipal real estate duty
  • Capital gains tax on the sale of property for individuals


    Legal Issues

    The first step begins by appointing a lawyer who will act as your legal representative in the transaction. The lawyer will take the title of the property from the seller and research the Registry of Deeds to certify that the seller is the sole owner of the property and that the property has no claims against it. The lawyer will also check whether the property accords with approved zoning regulations and whether all taxes on the property have been paid by the owner. 

    • Lawyers’ fees
    Under Greek law, it is necessary to engage a lawyer for all property transactions with an assessed value of €29,347 or above in the jurisdiction of Athens and Piraeus, and for all transactions over €11,738 in all other jurisdictions of the country. Lawyers’ fees are calculated based on the value of a property, starting at a minimum 1% for properties of less than €44,020, and dropping progressively to 0.01% as the value of the property rises.

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    Mortgages




    Mortgages
    Mortgage loans are available from all Greek and Cypriot banks. At our clients’ request, the company will help arrange a mortgage loan from our partner banks.

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    Conveyance of the Purchase Contract to the Registry of Deeds/Land Registry (Cadastre)

    The purchase transaction is formally completed once the notary public has conveyed the sales contract to the Registry of Deeds, which in turn will issue documents verifying title in the name of the new owner. Recent changes in the law now require registering the transaction with the Land Registry (Cadastre) as well. The notary public must submit to the Land Registry office a copy of the signed contract, as well as the document verifying the transfer of title from the Registry of Deeds.

    • Fees for the Registry of Deeds/Land Registry
    There is a fee of 0.775% the assessed value of a property on property transfers from parents to children, or on property given as a gift. For other transactions, the fee is set at 0.475% of the assessed value of the property. The fees are fixed at the same level regardless of the value of a property.

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    Notary Public

    After completing the legal checks, the transaction is then assigned to a public notary – usually appointed by the seller – who will draw up and oversee the signing of the sales contract for the property. The notary public is likewise responsible for checking the title to the property and gathering all of the necessary documents for the transaction. As aforesaid, the notary public is usually appointed by the seller.

    • Notary public’s fees
    For property transfers from parents to children, property given as a gift, and all other transfers, the notary public’s commission is calculated at 1.2% of the assessed value of the property, plus expenses for duplicate documents and declarations. These additional fees are not capped.

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    Applying for a Tax Registration Number

    Prior to the aforementioned procedures, it is necessary that the purchaser have a Greek tax registration number (Α.Φ.Μ.) issued by the tax authorities. If the purchaser is already resident in Greece, he or she will have to apply at the district tax office (Δ.Ο.Υ.) in which he or she resides. If the purchaser is an overseas resident, he or she will have to approach the special tax office for foreign residents with a valid passport and appoint a local representative with a power-of-attorney. The buyer must have a Greek tax registration number in order to purchase a property in Greece.
     
     
     Tax (%)
     Income (per annum €)
    5
    15
    27
    37
    40
    1 - 10,500
    10,501-12,000
    12,001-30,000
    30,001-75,000
    75,001 and over
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     


    For salary and pension income the first EUR 12,000 are tax exempt and 10,500 for self employed income.
    Standard rate of corporate tax in Greece is 25%.
    For Greek partnerships the tax rate is 20%.Deductions: 20% credit on a mortgage for the first residential apartment, up to a limit.

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    Real Estate Tax

    • Real estate owners are taxed in Greece on the real estate that they own. The tax is applicable to individuals and to companies.
    • Real estate that is valued at less than € 243,600 is exempt from real estate tax.
    • The rate of tax for real estate with a value in excess of the limit for exemptions, fluctuates between 0.3%-0.8% for individuals, 0.7% for legal entities.
    • For couples double of the above mentioned amount is not subject to tax; € 487.200 and for the first 2 children another € 61.650 for each are not subject to tax and for any further child € 73.400 each.      

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    Inheritance and Gift Tax

    • Inheritances / gifts are taxable in Greece.
    • The tax is payable on real estate in Greece and real estate outside Greece that is owned by a Greek resident.
    • The rate of tax is between 0% - 40%. The amount of tax is affected by the relationship between the person making the gift / the testator, and the recipient of the gift / the heir.

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    Value Added Tax

    • In most cases, VAT in Greece is 19%. In specific areas in Greece, there is a reduction of this rate. VAT has replaced the payment of Transfer fees.

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    Municipal real estate duty

    Real estate ownership is also subject to a municipal real estate duty, currently calculated at a range of 0.25‰ to 0.35‰ on the objective value of the real estate property; which is incorporated in the electricity bill payable every second month.

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    Capital gains tax on the sale of property for individuals

     

    • 20% in case the property remained at the ownership of the seller for less than five years.
    • 10 % in case the property remained at the ownership of the seller for more than five but less than 15.
    • 5% in case the property remained at the ownership of the seller for more than 15 but less than twenty 25 years.
    • 0% in case the property remained at the ownership of the seller for more than 25 years.

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